Coronavirus (COVID–19)

17th March 2020

Dear Parents/ Carers,

Our Chair of Governors and I, want to update you all, in terms of what we are doing in response to the current Covid-19 situation.

We are stringently following all Health & Safety advice given to us by the Local Authority and we are working very hard to ensure that school is as safe as possible for all our children, staff and visitors.

At this time we are trying to strike a happy balance between a sensible risk management strategy and keeping things ‘normal’ for the children.

In line with National Guidance, we ask that if your child is unwell with a fever or a cough that you keep them at home and follow the most recent guidance – self-isolation for 14 days for the whole family. If we suspect that any child is unwell during the school day, with either of these symptoms, we will contact you immediately for your child to be collected and comforted at home. To this end, please ensure the school has up to date contact information.

In addition to this, if you are displaying any of these symptoms please do not come to the school and self-isolate for 14 days. These are the same guidelines for all employees on our school site also.

PUBLIC HEALTH WALES https://phw.nhs.wales update their information at 11am daily and it would be worthwhile looking there for answers to any questions you may have.

We are very aware that some people on social media and some newspapers are reporting that schools will close. Obviously, as soon as we hear anything to this effect we will let you all know. Staff are currently preparing work for children to use at home if this should happen.

We thank you for your support as always. It is a very difficult time for us all.

Please take care.

Mr N Prygodzicz
Headteacher

Coronavirus (COVID–19) Update

17th March 2020

In light of the evolving situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19), it is perhaps timely to write to you all with a summary of the current position as it stands. Chief Medical Officers’ advice is clear and the position is that schools, colleges and childcare settings should not be closed at this stage. This decision is based on the latest scientific evidence and there is a clear national steer that schools should remain open.

Sources of Information and Guidance

As you will be aware the position changes on a daily basis and senior officers within the Council meet on a regular basis to ensure that a co-ordinated response is adopted and that the advice provided is well informed and based on current Public Health Wales and Welsh Government guidance. Excellent advice is provided by Welsh Government and Public Health Wales for schools and this can be sourced as follows:

Latest Public Health Wales advice for parents/carers:
https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/guidance-for-schools-advice-for-parents-or-carers/

Latest advice for schools:
https://gov.wales/guidance-educational-settings-about-covid-19

Latest Welsh Government advice:
https://gov.wales/coronavirus

Travel advice:
https://gov.wales/coronavirus-travel-guidance-education-settings-and-students

Health advice:
NHS Direct Wales, Tel: 0845 46 47 or 111
Public Health Wales, Tel: 0300 00 300 32

School Attendance

The Welsh Government’s published guidance for education settings about COVID-19 (https://gov.wales/guidance-educational-settings-about-covid-19) is very clear about the current circumstances when a pupil should attend school or self-isolate. Further advice was provided which recommends that individuals presenting with a new continuous cough and mild temperature, should self-isolate as follows:

• if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation section below for more information)
• if you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

Schools Continuity / Contingency Plan

The School is in the process of developing a Continuity Plan to ensure that robust strategies can be implemented in the event of an emergency situation. The plan will be put into place as a contingency in the event of increased staff illness, unexpected caring arrangements for staff, and full or partial school closure. Details will be shared in due course, including how to access personalised learning packs, online/remote learning opportunities (where accessible and appropriate). Banks of work will also be developed for this purpose. Please see attached links also for online learning resources.

Examinations

Latest advice on assessments and examinations from Qualifications Wales can be found at https://qualificationswales.org/english/information-for-stakeholders/schools-and-colleges/guidance-covid-19-coronavirus/

Welsh Government are in discussions with Qualifications Wales to agree a way forward in relation to the summer series examinations. It is anticipated that further information will be provided in due course. Our Business Continuity Plans will include reference to a serious disruption to examinations where appropriate. Further information can be found at: https://qualificationswales.org/english/information-for-stakeholders/schools-and-colleges/guidance-disruption-to-exams/. At this stage guidance has set out that examinations could run up to 24th June, however this could change.

At this stage guidance has set out that examinations could run up to 24th June, however this could change.

Cleaning and Hygiene in Schools

In terms of hygiene practices and school cleaning the school has remodelled its regime and routines in key areas which will increase the cleaning undertaken thought the day in addition to the normal practice. The Site staff are actively ensuring that toilets and washrooms are sanitised regularly and are disinfecting door handles and rails as a matter of course.

Immediate Future

For the time being we carry on as normal and make the most of every lesson every day, conforming to school rules, working hard and trying to be the very best ourselves. We will continue to encourage and support healthy hand hygiene and monitor the regular restocking on soap in toilets and hand wash areas. This is a unique time and children and families may be experiencing anxiety and concern which are new and upsetting. Please let us know if we can offer support and/or provide guidance or where to access additional support or help.

Please take your time to read the information in the links within this briefing paper. Further information will be sent via Classcharts and placed on the Website.

Many thanks for your support and cooperation.